Green finds quick success with new stance
Top A's prospect cranks go-ahead homer for Phoenix in AFL
Grant Green may look like a different hitter, but his results at the plate are starting to look the same.
The A's top prospect smacked a 10th-inning solo homer to push the Phoenix Desert Dogs past the Peoria Javelinas, 7-6, on Wednesday afternoon.
"The first pitch he threw was a hanging curveball that I couldn't pull the trigger on," Green said of his at-bat opposite Javelinas reliever Casey Medlen (1-1). "Then he threw a letter-high fastball."
Green, who also went yard in the Dogs' 10-4 win over the Mesa Solar Sox on Oct. 5, ended a mini-slump with his first multi-hit game since last week. The shortstop-turned-center fielder was hitless in 11 at-bats entering Wednesday.
Since the beginning of the AFL season, Green has been working on a new set of mechanics in the batter's box. Phoenix manager Todd Steverson, also the hitting coach at Triple-A Sacramento, is behind the changes. The most significant -- widening his stance in the box and incorporating a pre-pitch leg kick.
Steverson "said there was more power in me," Green said. "We're going with what's comfortable and having a day like today confirms it."
Green batted .291 but lifted just nine long balls in 127 games at Double-A Midland, though he collected 20 in his first full season, in 2010 at Class A Advanced Stockton.
Through 14 AFL games, employing the brand new swing, he is batting .276 with seven extra-base hits.
Working with an early three-run lead, Peoria starter Danny Hultzen (Mariners), the No. 2 overall pick in June, retired the first 10 batters he faced before Brodie Greene (Reds) hit his 1-1 offering in the fourth for a solo home run.
Greene, who has three long balls in 10 AFL games, smacked a hanging change-up according to his teammate.
Hultzen also walked Jesus Aguilar (Indians) on eight pitches and gave up Green's two-out two-bagger before exiting. Winless through his first four outings as a pro, the left-hander struck out a career-high five. He had fanned two over his first three starts, which spanned nine innings.
Green was very impressed with Hultzen, whom he could face on a regular basis in future American League West matchups.
"He's unbelievable," said Green, who faced Hultzen for the second time. "As good as advertised. Sneaky quick fastball, and his change-up is disgusting. It just falls off the table like he's pulling a string off it."
Juan Lagares (Mets) singled home a pair of fifth-inning insurance runs. Lagares finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs.
Jed Bradley (Brewers), the Javelinas' third reliever, allowed three Desert Dogs runs in the sixth. Bradley, the No. 15 overall pick in June, yielded a two-run dinger to Ronnier Mustelier (Yankees).
Mustelier, a 27-year-old native of Cuba, also tied the game, 6-6, in the seventh with an RBI single that brought home Greene.
The Javelinas threatened in the bottom of the ninth: Adam Moore (Mariners) and Zelous Wheeler (Brewers) led off the inning with back-to-back singles, but were left stranded.
Peoria (9-10) was seeking to eclipse .500 for the second time this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.